Madigan Muses: New Sister of Charity LAOH Formed



Madigan Muses: New Sisters of Charity Formed
by Marilyn Madigan

Our lives seem to be getting back to a new normal after the COVID Pandemic. It was great to see St. Patrick’s Day Parades and Activities back this past March. I was disappointed to not be able to attend the Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to an invitation to attend the Irish Ambassador’s Reception. I did follow Cleveland’s activities on that day on Facebook. What a beautiful day to welcome back the oldest tradition in Ohio on St. Patrick’s Day.

Returning home from the Irish Ambassador’s Reception in DC, I had the honor and privilege to Install the Officers of the newly established Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians in the Cleveland area. The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians have been active in the Irish Community of Cleveland for over a century.  It is wonderful to see the growth of the Hibernians in the Cleveland area.

Ohio State President Teresa Harris of Franklin County welcomed the new Division and Installed the thirty new members into the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. This new Division joins Divisions throughout the State of Ohio in the following areas: Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown.

Witnessing this important moment in Hibernian History in Ohio were the following State Officers; Vice President Nicki Parks Norris of Akron, Treasurer Mary Jo Rawlins of Cleveland, Mission and Charities Marie Rizzo of Akron, Catholic Action JoAnn Shirer of Cleveland and Past State President Maire Manning of Cleveland, Division President Patricia Lavelle represented Our Lady of the Rosary Division of Cleveland.

Photo by Amy Shulte

National Vice President Marilyn Madigan and National Fundraiser Maire Leffel also were present. I think this was the first time that all levels of the organization were present at the Installation of a new Division in the State of Ohio. A special thank you to Dan Hanson of Cleveland People and Amy Schulte of the Our Lady of the Rosary Division for taking fantastic photos of this occasions.

Congratulations to the new Officers of Division 11 Deirfiur of Charity (Sisters of Charity)
President Sarah O’Brien Dirk                                                                                               Vice President Bridgit Waite                                                                                                                        Secretary Debbie Arth                                                                                                            Treasurer Peggy Bennett                                                                                                                         Financial Secretary Melissa Lewis                                                                                       Irish Historian Colleen Laffey                                                                                                            Missions and Charities Kathleen Hatcher                                                                         Catholic Action Kathleen Banc                                                                                                          Mistress at Arms Helen Vura                                                                                               Sentinel Linda Walsh

In welcoming the new Division, the Our Lady of the Rosary Division gave the Division a statue of our Patron, St. Brigid, demonstrating the Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity between the Divisions in the Cleveland area as the Division was welcomed into a sisterhood from Coast to Coast. The State also presented gifts to the new Division.

The Hibernians in the Cleveland area are a wonderful group of Brother and Sister Hibernians, demonstrated by the many members of both the AOH and LAOH that were present at this special occasion. For more information on the oldest and in my opinion the greatest women’s Irish American Catholic organization that has been serving their heritage, church and community for the past 128 years, please visit, find a Division in your area, or contact me at [email protected].

*Marilyn Madigan is the National Vice President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and a Deputy Director of the United Irish Societies of Cleveland. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. John College and retired from Nursing at University Hospitals of Cleveland. 


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